Bourne ‘helped fund fight against term-time holiday ban’

Butlin’s owner Bourne Leisure reportedly helped to fund a parent organisation’s fight against the term-time holiday ban.

Bourne Leisure, which also owns Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels, allowed Parents Want a Say free use of its PR agency.

Jack Irvine, executive chairman of Media House International, said Bourne Leisure had asked him to help with the “very interesting campaign”.

He told the Sunday Times: “Butlin’s, like every other holiday company in the UK, has quite a long holiday season, yet there is this mad rush for places during the very brief six-week school holiday period. Anything to ease that pressure is good news and good business.”

Parents Want a Say was co-founded by Craig Langman, a father of one, and Karen Wilkinson, a mother of three, in 2013 to protest against a change in government regulations that meant head teachers could not grant any leave of absence to pupils during term time without “exceptional circumstances”.

Media House is understood to have lobbied MPs on behalf of the campaign group, contacted government departments and trade unions and sent out press releases that accused the government of “unfairly criminalising hard-working families”.

Irvine said Media House had not charged Bourne Leisure any extra for its work with Parents Want a Say between 2014 and 2016.